Job Search Tracking
One of the most important parts of your search is tracking. You need to know your numbers, stay on top of your leads, and remain organized. For doing all of this, we recommend Trello.com because it is a to-do list lover's dream, and it's free! You can create a 'to-do' list, a 'doing' list, and a 'done' list, and drag each item from one to the next until your project is done. Trello is made by Atlassian, who also brought you JIRA (those familiar with Agile know this name).
Using this tool, we set up a comprehensive job search pipeline for job seekers to track down every lead and never have to worry about missing something. We have custom checklist for every stage, you can take notes, document names/numbers, attach the custom resume you sent that employer, attach their job description, and keep track of names. Each card even has its own email address so you can forward correspondence to it!!
Trello has its own free mobile app as well, so you have everything with you wherever you are. It's amazing. It comes with one "power up" (extra features), and there are LOTS to choose from. To get more than one, you must upgrade to Business Class, which is $12.50/month - BUT, all of our membership levels come with access to our custom built jobs pipeline Trello board for your personal job search use. If you use OUR board, we already have Business Class and we'll give you access as long as you're a member of our program. Even our Network Membership level includes our custom board with Business Class power ups and our Networking Membership can be as low as $9 per month! So you could SAVE money using our board AND have access to the rest of our program! Something to think about.
Back in 2007 Paul Cameron (Founder of SpeedUpMyJobSearch.com) interviewed Jason Alba on Job Talk, a talk radio show in Chicago which Paul co-hosted. Jason is the founder of another job search tracking tool that we recommend called Jibberjobber.com. This is another very advanced job search tracking tool and a great resource. They have a free version, and a premium version for $60 per year. Although we have not subscribed directly, we feel it would be worth exploring.
There are many ways to research a company aside from the obvious "run a search for them on the internet." One search we recommend running is a Zoominfo search. Fair warning, Zoominfo is a paid site, similar to the old Manta website which is now defunct, but you can sign up for a free trial. You'll get company information, plus how many employees they have by title. The paid version gives you those names, emails & numbers, but is cost prohibitive. Check your library to see if they offer free access.
While you are at the library, you can see if they have a subscription to ReferenceUSA which will get you access to detailed company information, plus you can search for lists of companies by SIC and NAICS codes to create target lists. They might also be able to help you search local newspapers. If you're not looking for companies or information on local companies only, you can try Refdesk which allows you to access local newspapers from any state in the United States.
We're going to make two more recommendations here, but we do so with a word of caution. If you go to Glassdoor.com, you can get some information about a company but here is the catch: this is where employees get to voice their opinions of their employer, or former employer, anonymously. Reviews are seldom positive, so read with caution, understanding that hurt feelings were involved. You're looking for lots and lots of bad reviews with similar messages, smaller numbers don't mean much.
The second option, if you weren't already aware, is that any company can have a Yelp.com review. It's not just for restaurant reviews or service oriented companies, but similar to Glassdoor, people rarely go out of their way to write positive reviews, so look for multiples of the same complaints to uncover a deeper trend.
There are essentially two kinds of job boards: niche, or specialized job boards, and kitchen sink job boards. We call them kitchen sink job boards because they cover every industry and every job type. Two of the biggest sites in the kitchen sink category are Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. These are both major job boards where companies will pay to post their jobs to cast the widest net possible when finding candidates. Both boards cover all industries and job functions, but CareerBuilder also reposts those same jobs on hundreds of other smaller job boards, so keep a sharp eye out for duplicates.
Much like CareerBuilder, Nexxt.com, which used to be Beyond.com, looks like a kitchen sink board, but they actually run thousands of job boards across the United States. Here you can set up an alert for yourself to be informed of relevant jobs across ALL of their boards, and that's more than 4 million posted jobs.
If you know about all of those big places already, then using Craigslist.org can be an often overlooked suggestion. If you're not familiar with the site, Craigslist is similar to a big, online, classified ad section like we used to see in the newspaper. People buy and sell stuff, but employers can also cost-effectively post jobs. Posting on the larger boards we mentioned above can cost some serious coin, and the more jobs they have, the more expensive it is. It takes some digging, but there are some good positions buried in there with smaller companies if you look.
As far as niche boards, Dice.com and JobServe.com are the two places connecting technology professionals and technology positions. USAJobs.gov is a great niche board for government jobs. As it should be! It is the official job site of the United States Federal Government. If you are a veteran, minority, or if you have a disability, you can find some helpful resources at America's Job Exchange. They also have a comprehensive set of career management tools.
Job Board Aggregators
So you know what a job board is, but what is a job board aggregator? An aggregator is a service or platform that collects related item and content into a single display, so a job board aggregator, like Indeed.com, searches all the job boards and crawls the internet for jobs and displays them in one place. This is a great way to cover more ground and find jobs from smaller job boards you may not know about or may not have the time to check individually.
CAUTION: Indeed.com offers a "one-click apply" option as many sites do these days such as LinkedIn and Ziprecruiter (which you'll notice is absent from our list, and this is purposeful). These one-click apply buttons often send your information in THEIR formatting, stripping away any presentation customizations you've added to your information, setting your contact information in to a header, and making it similar to all other resumes from them which then promotes their branding. There are several issues with this approach:
- Your resume shows up completely unformatted, including details you may not want on your resume. This will be your first impression, and it will sit next to other resumes sent directly to the company which ARE formatted properly and the content chosen carefully.
- A one-click apply resume is very clearly just that: one-click, no effort, and very fast. This is a very common option used by people who are not remotely qualified for the job because it's a long shot anyway, so why spend lots of time on it? From the employer's perspective, seeing dozens and dozens of these resumes (and a vast majority are from people who likely "one-clicked" their way into applying for 25 jobs during a commercial break from their favorite TV show to satisfy the unemployment office with their list of companies where they've applied), the employer starts to open these resumes looking for the reason they aren't a fit for job as soon as they recognize the format.
- Most importantly, when your contact information is put into the header of a document or into a table within a template resume, many Applicant Tracking Systems cannot read the document properly, thereby leaving the pertinent contact information fields blank, and the ATS deletes the submission thinking it is an error and no one knows you ever applied. The job board mentioned earlier which we purposefully left off of our list has sent our firm hundreds of resumes, and not one of them has ever parsed into our ATS successfully, and we have a one of the top ATS on the market, a very advanced system, and we cannot read those resumes.
Diversity Job Search
More and more, companies are looking for diversity in their hiring needs because diversity leads to more out-of-the box thinking and broader perspectives. One of the best places for go for specialty articles relevant for different groups of people is the Diversity Village area of IMDiversity.com.
I was very honored to be selected to speak at the national Women for Hire event at Navy Pier in Chicago, which was organized by Tory Johnson from Good Morning America. She has a website with lots of great resources at WomenForHire.com. Also for women, I recommend checking out the specialty job board Women's Job List. Although the jobs themselves are not exclusively for women, there are numerous articles and information posted to help women seeking work.
Lastly, if you have a disability, then disABLED person is a really great organization. They have been helping job seekers with a premier Job Board for people with disabilities since 2002. They boast 250,000 active jobs from all across the U.S. posted by companies who are looking to hire people with disabilities.
Job Search for Recent College Graduates
One of the biggest challenges in job search can be getting started on your chosen career which is only made more difficult as you hunt through job boards with thousands of jobs from entry level to the top of the corporate chain. Or what if you are searching for an internship? Most of those are not found on job boards. Two places that can help you out are College Recruiter and Intern Jobs. Both of these are great for finding internships and entry level positions for college students and recent graduates.
If you're looking for some part time work either over the holiday or over the summer, you can always check out Snagajob.com to find hourly positions that are local to you.
Telecommute and Remote Jobs
Ahh, the dream commute! Whether it's driving to work or taking the train, the remote job has them all beat because what could be better than a 10 second commute down the hall in your pajamas? These positions take a certain amount of self-discipline, because you won't be able to keep one of these positions if you are easily distracted or if you live somewhere with a lot of interruptions. If you think you have what it takes to hold done one of these positions, FlexJobs is a great place to start. They list jobs for a wide variety of big name companies that post remote jobs directly to their site, full time or part time, for free lance or career work.
One of the largest communities for remote jobs can be found over at We Work Remotely. Although the jobs there are a bit more specialized, they aren't restricted by commutes or a particular geographic area. They also boast a community of over 1.5 million individuals visiting their site annually so you'll be in good company!
Hopefully this is the best tidbit in this whole article: whatever your niche is, there is probably a resource for you that can help you find what you're looking for. Are you a former member of the military? Career Onestop has a service specifically to help veterans with employment, training, and financial help after military service. The website includes the Military-to-Civilian Job Search tool where veterans and service members can search for jobs based on the skills and experiences they gained in the military. The site also includes tips for job searching specifically for veteran job seekers.
Are you in healthcare? The National Health Service Corps Job Center awards scholarships and loan repayment to primary care providers in eligible disciplines. They also allow doctors, nurses and other providers to take 'virtual visits' to prospective rural and urban communities seeking to hire clinicians.
It doesn't end there! For Law Enforcement and Firefighting careers, there's The Blue Line. For jobs in sports, whether you're a yoga instructor or a broadcaster, there's Work In Sports. What about Non-profit companies? You bet! Idealist.org has a wide range of positions in Non-profit companies. Even library and information science professionals have INALJ.com, short for I Need A Library Job, as a resource! There is a resource out there for you too, if you search for it.
But maybe you're not looking for a full time job right now. If you have the freedom and desire to do some good in the world, you can always look at sites like Volunteer Match. They bring good people & good causes together, so you can use this site to find volunteer positions near you!
Or maybe you just want a really "cool" job, whatever that may mean to you. Over at Cool Works you can find jobs in great places like national parks, various resorts, ranches, camps, ski resorts, and jobs on the water. They also seek volunteer and conservation corps opportunities to help better our world. If "national" parks are a bit too local for you, then Overseas Jobs might be for you. They feature overseas jobs and international employment opportunities for professionals, expatriates, and adventure seekers.
Career Training Sites
Whether you are looking for a new position or if you just want to pick up some new skills for your current position, there are a vast number of online training sites available to you. The two I most recommend are staples of the industry: Lynda and Coursera. Lynda is a paid site for technology training, but check your local library to see if they have a paid subscription you can use. Coursera covers a wider variety of subjects and has even gone mobile with a Coursera app for iOS and Android.
If you've tried all the free advice available and it's not working, then it's time to try the tactics that the professionals are using to find and land jobs. Enroll as a member today and get back to work!